Alberto Candiani and Maurizio Donadi

Candiani Denim celebrated its 80th Anniversary with the debut of its most sustainable denim fabric yet, dubbed Re-Gen. The fabric is made from 50 percent recycled Tencel — Lenzing’s recycled material known as Refibra — and 50 percent recycled cotton from Candiani’s own denim waste. The result of 10 years of commitment to a greener production process, Re-Gen uses no new cotton, and looks and feels similar to new raw denim, with a hint of shine from the Tencel.

The fabric also uses sustainable dyeing and finishing technology called Kitotex, and Candiani’s proprietary water-saving dyeing technique called Indigo Juice, which keeps the indigo on the surface of the yarn during the dyeing process, making it easy to achieve the faded look of a vintage look jean.

Candiani and Atelier & Repairs Collaboration

The Candiani and Atelier & Repairs Collaboration  Lynn Millspaugh Photo

While the material was unveiled earlier this year in Europe, the first use of Re-Gen debuted at the Candiani Denim Development Center in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, in the form of a 12-piece capsule collaboration with L.A.-based Atelier & Repairs.

“We wanted to show what Re-Gen can do for both sustainability and fashion,” said Alberto Candiani, the fourth-generation executive who leads the family-run business from the product development side.

Atelier & Repairs typically uses vintage denim in its designs; the Candiani project was the first time it utilized new fabric, though Re-Gen resembles raw selvage denim.

“I thought it was an interesting fabric to work with, and it also shows off the stitching and patching techniques taken from around the world, that we are known for,” said Atelier & Repairs founder Maurizio Donadi. His company is based on the concept of regenerated fashion, so the pieces in the collection are workwear, reimagined, from overalls and jumpsuits to coats. The collection will retail exclusively in Tenue de Nimes in Amsterdam from April 18, following the Kingpins trade show.

Donadi said he’s received interest from other leading boutiques, but is weighing whether to produce more pieces. As for Candiani, which supplies denim to brands such as Seven For All Mankind and Lucky Brand, Re-Gen signals a step forward is making the company completely sustainable, a goal Alberto Candiani says is possible.

“Sustainability is more adopted in Europe, so that’s part of the reason we thought it was important to push Re-Gen in Los Angeles; what companies do here gets noticed by the rest of the country,” he said.

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